If you suspect you are pregnant you may experience a range of symptoms or, none at all. It is important to know that everyone is different and may not experience the same symptoms. It’s also possible to experience different symptoms from one pregnancy to the next.
A pregnancy is divided into trimesters:
- the 1st trimester is from week 1 to the end of week 12
- the 2nd trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26
- the 3rd trimester is from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy
Symptoms of an early pregnancy can be confused with premenstrual syndrome symptoms, and some women don’t notice they’re pregnant until more advanced stages. The most accurate ways to diagnose pregnancy are through pregnancy tests or uterine or abdominal ultrasounds.
However, the following signs and symptoms are considered very common in the early stages of pregnancy, despite not being specific to pregnancy.
1 Cramping and spotting
These symptoms are more common between the 1st and 4th week after conception, and are medically called implantation bleeding.
When the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and attaches itself to the endometrium (layer of tissue in the womb), in a process called implantation, you may feel cramps and have mild bleeding (spotting). As the cramps occur at the same time as the spotting, this is often confused with menstruation. However, the quantity of blood is a lot less than a normal period.
2 Missed period
Missing a period is considered the most obvious and early symptom of pregnancy because it can be noticed from the 4th week after conception. In fact, many women take a pregnancy test because they have missed their period.
However, there are many reasons why a woman may miss a period, such as hormonal imbalances, losing or gaining too much weight, stress and severe fatigue.
More pregnancy symptoms on next page…